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Business deals cross $150 m at auto expo

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Tuesday was the last day of the Auto Expo 2006. - Ramesh Sharma
Tuesday was the last day of the Auto Expo 2006. - Ramesh Sharma

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Jan. 17

BEHIND the glamour of the aspirational cars and bikes on display, big business was conducted at the Eight Auto Expo, which came to a close on Tuesday.

As per estimates, business deals crossed $150 million at the expo, clocking more than three times the amount compared to the last expo. Most of the deals inked were in the auto components domain with several foreign component makers taking part in the expo to find potential Indian partners.

It also saw auto majors announce investments of over a billion dollars.

Big-ticket investments:

Car maker Maruti Udyog announced investments of Rs 2,718 crore for new model launches, research and development and upgradation, while German component major Bosch said it would be investing more than Rs 1,000 crore in its India operations.

Apart from Bosch and Maruti, other big-ticket investment announcements included those by Yamaha (Rs 300 crore), Ashok Leyland (Rs 550 crore), TVS-Delphi (Rs 500 crore) and Bharat Forge (Rs 400 crore).

``The Auto Expo has been a success and most of the participating companies want to come back,'' said Mr Gurpal Singh of Confederation of Indian Industry.

Biggest expo:

He added that the Eight Auto Expo had many firsts to its credit. It was one of the biggest auto expos held in India with occupied space in excess of 70,000 sq metres and over 1,000 participants, including 300 from 22 countries.

Meanwhile, though there may have been lesser action at this year's expo in terms of new vehicle launches, the increased focus on technology was noticeable with almost every vehicle maker showcasing a concept car or a vehicle utilising alternative fuel technology.

The new car launches at the expo included `Rhino', a multi-utility vehicle from homegrown Sonalika group, the Honda Civic and the Audi A4.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 18, 2006)
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